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Posted on: January 14, 2023

Honoring Dr Martin Luther King, Jr: The Letter From Birmingham Jail

gladneyTo honor the legacy of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, Golden Valley Community Connection and Outreach Specialist Airrion Williams interviewed some Golden Valley community members about how Dr King's work, life, and legacy has impacted their lives. In this interview, Williams asked resident Trey Gladney (see top image) about The Letter From Birmingham Jail, a 1963 letter Dr King wrote to his fellow clergymen while he was in jail in Birmingham, Alabama after a nonviolent protest against racial segregation.

How do you think this has impacted society?

"Dr Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail” impacted our society because it emphasized the reality that “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” In my opinion, as King was writing this letter in jail, he was telling his followers, both Black and White, now is the time to stand up for our God-given constitutional rights. This letter set the stage for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August 1963, when King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech."

letter-from-birmingham-jailHow has this impacted you personally?

"This has impacted me personally because it highlights the importance, that if you want change, you need to become the change. Dr Martin Luther King, Jr inspires me to keep going. Although we have made significant advancements toward equality, many Black Americans are still living in poverty, living in segregated communities, and attending segregated schools. Because of King, I use my voice to speak up and demand freedom for all Americans."

How do you honor Martin Luther King, Jr Day?

"On MLK day, I spend time reflecting on his legacy with my family. This year I will be volunteering and attending the MLK event hosted by Sweet Potato Comfort Pie."

Click here to read The Letter From Birmingham Jail.

9th Annual MLK Jr Holiday Of Service Set For Jan 15

Celebrate community and the 94th birthday of Dr Martin Luther King Jr at the 9th annual MLK Holiday Weekend of Service Sunday, Jan 15, 2023, 2-4:30 pm, at Breck School, 123 Ottawa Avenue N. Attend in person or online via zoom. The event is hosted by Sweet Potato Comfort Pie in partnership with multiple community organizations, including the City of Golden Valley. 

The event kicks off with a parade of pies and will feature exhibits, speakers, conversation, and awards, such the winners of the Golden Valley Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Commission's 2023 MLK Human Rights Contest.

 To learn more, visit the Sweet Potato Comfort Pie website.

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